Finding Inspiration During Tough Times

If I were a good liar, even a decent one, I would say that life has never been better. That although I’ve hit some rough patches, I’m seeing the light.

While that’s partially true, the 100% truth is that sometimes life really sucks.

These days it’s a cough drop that helps me get through the toughest parts of my day because it forces me to focus on the present moment. And when that doesn’t work, a hug from my husband does.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have faith, or hope, or want to live each day being positive and inspiring to others.

What it means is that this moment, this year even, is forcing me be more of who I need to be. And I’m willing to take the journey, even in the dark, bumpy parts.

I’m a visual person so here’s what I mean:

1. Perspective:

This is a shot I took outside of our cottage in Point Reyes. The sun had just set and the gorgeous countryside was beginning to turn dark and gray.

Amazingly. This is the same scene taken with the same camera at the same time. The only difference? A different camera setting. To me, this represents a change in perspective. That we can all have tough moments, days, months, even years, but it is our ability to keep going, to do what we need to do to get through the hard parts, and see the same problem/concern/hardship through different lenses.

2. Blurry to Focus:

This photo looks like a big mess of weeds doesn’t it? Sometimes that mess is your business or your life. You’re doing a whole of something, but in the end it feels like it’s amounting to nothing. I know what you’re going through. I felt that way too. But recently, being sick has made it difficult for me to do more than one thing at a time. And you know what? That’s a blessing.

It’s made it easier for me to focus on the things that really matter. (Forgive me if that sounds trite, but it’s true.) When you have gazillion things on your plate, you lose track of your purpose. Not only that but you become inefficient in the things or people you care about most. When you zoom in on one specific aspect of your life, instead of trying to do a superficial observation from above, you get to see the details. I realized that placing your attention on one thing instead of trying to do all of them is a lot more beneficial to not just your career, but your life.

The bottom line is this. Life will inevitably suck at different moments. We are all living in a world we don’t have much control of. But what we can hold onto is grace. The choice we have to see something small to be grateful for, even when we’re sucking on our cough drops, or crying our eyes out. And then have patience and wait. Because out of that dark, difficult time, there will be a gift. It will be the rainbow you didn’t expect, the joy that you couldn’t have appreciated if you didn’t go through it, or the strength you didn’t have before.

That’s what keeps me hopeful and inspired during the sucky times in life. How about you?

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